Stockport County 1 Chorley 1
Chorley were seconds away from recording what would have been a deserved victory, writes MIKE NEILD.
But Stockport, who in four seasons have yet to defeat the Magpies at Edgeley Park, snatched an equaliser in the third minute of added time.
Matt Jansen’s men had held their own against County in an end-to-end first half but they clearly outpointed their hosts after the break.
Only some less-than-clinical finishing and busy home keeper Ben Hinchcliffe stood between the visitors and a match-winning lead. The Chorley boss changed the starting formation, resulting in a more attacking approach without sacrificing the usual defensive stability.
After Bohan Dixon twice fired wide for County in the opening minutes, Jason Walker was sent clear for Chorley but could not control an awkward bounce and shot over the bar.
Matt Urwin pulled off a smart reflex save to deny Jason Oswell’s far-post header before both Marcus Carver and Nick Haughton were narrowly off-target for the Magpies.
Chorley began the second half with real purpose and in a 10-minute purple patch threatened a flurry of goals.
Hinchcliffe parried a powerful Adam Blakeman drive from distance for a corner and then punched away a dangerous Haughton free-kick.
Then Andy Teague’s cross-shot raked the goalmouth with only a touch needed to put Chorley ahead.
The clearest chance fell to Matty Hughes who broke through but Hinchcliffe again rescued County with an excellent save.
Moments later the keeper blocked another Carver effort.
Next up was a looping Josh O’Keefe header which Hinchcliffe tipped for a corner.
Stockport were relying on the odd breakaway at this stage but were unable to unlock the Magpies’ well-organised defence.
Chorley seized the lead in the 83rd minute following a disputed free-kick which was quickly taken, allowing Haughton to race through and finish confidently past Hinchcliffe.
It was the Fleetwood loan-man’s10th goal of the season and once again a vital contribution to the Magpies’ cause.
Urwin made one crucial intervention during a late County rally but Chorley appeared to have done enough to see the game out.
But with the added time already up, Matt Warburton slung over a cross from the left and Oswell rose highest to power a header into the net for his 16th goal of the season.
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Hughes (Jarvis 72), Teague, Leather, Blakeman, Haughton (Cottrell 86), Wilson, Carver, Walker, O’Keefe. Subs (not used): Anson, Black, Azam.